Sept 12, 1990: Fleetwood Mac Lineup Changes

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Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks

It was a time of change for Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey Buckingham had left the band in 1987. He was replaced by two musicians who had already worked with the group’s members on various projects: singer, songwriter and guitarist Billy Burnette, who was the son of rock ‘n’ roll founding father Dorsey Burnette who with his brother Johnny Burnette led the 1950s The Rock and Roll Trio, and guitarist Rick Vito, a Peter Green acolyte who had played with John Mayall.

The two debut on the 1987 Shake The Cage tour that yields the Tango in the Night concert video, and the new line-up record the 1990 Behind The Mask LP. Two singles, “Save Me” and “In the Back of My Mind,” only reached the middle of the Hot 100.

During the tour for that album on September 12, 1990, both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie announce they would still record with Fleetwood Mac but no longer tour with the group.

Watch Buckingham’s surprise appearance at the final performance of the band’s Behind The Mask tour (The clip will take you to YouTube)

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The next year, Nicks decides to totally quit the band, but returns to play President Bill Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration. In 1995 Christine McVie leaves the band. The group briefly breaks up altogether. Then reunites the Fleetwood/McVies/Buckingham/Nicks line-up in 1997. The next year Christine McVie leaves again.

It will be 16 years until the most famed and successful version of Fleetwood Mac plays together in full again on a 2014-15 tour. The band performed twice in 2017 at the Classic West and East concerts. And several months after their brief performance at the 2018 MusiCares event for which they were honored, the band announced that they were again parting ways with Buckingham.

The revolving door continued, with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, joining Fleetwood and both McVies on their “An Evening With Fleetwood Mac” tour.

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  1. JCB
    #1 JCB 13 September, 2020, 12:11

    I saw that 87 tour, it was fantastic. Vito and Burnette are both really great guitarists. A smoking hot show, when Christine sang “Isn’t It Midnight”, the guitar duel was mind blowing. I also saw the Campbell / Finn version in 2018, another great show. I love Lindsey seen him both solo with his band and with FM many times, all great shows, but he is replaceable.

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